Cocktail Hour | Cranberry Vodka Spritzer

Cranberry Vodka

This summer has been our very first Summer of Weddings. You know, that thing that happens to everyone where suddenly all of their friends and relatives are of marrying age and they all decide to get married at the same freaking time. Including our wedding in March (because why wouldn’t I include the highlight of our life?!), Chuck and I will have attended 7 weddings and 4 wedding showers by the end of September. And we’re unable to attend another one later in the year because it’s a destination wedding and – sadly – buying a house has made us less liquid.

Anywho, most of the weddings have taken place in the last month or so, and in that time I’ve decided “you know what – enough of this drinking Bud Light crap.” I mean sure – Bud Light is easy, and they’ve got it everywhere… but I’m a 28 year old married woman now. It’s time to class things up a bit.

So, the ultra-mature me has actually regressed a bit. I’ve gone back to the ever-faithful cranberry and vodka (also known as a Cape Codder), but with a spritzer twist. These days, I’m drinking mostly soda water (and honestly, sometimes Sprite), with a dash of cran and a hint of vodka. I’m not in it to get drunk, guys. That is so two years ago.

Cranberry Vodka

At this point, you’ve figured out the ingredients to this drink – because there is literally nothing at all fancy about it, but here’s a recipe from Yummly. As I mentioned, I swap between Sprite and soda water depending on whether or not I want the drink sweet, but either way I never add sugar or use simple syrup. And I always skip the lime. A boss I had once told me that the fruit at a bar is the dirtiest thing in the place and I just can’t get it out of my mind. (When he put his drink orders in he would always say “NFL” and when the bartender or server asked what that meant he would loudly exclaim “No F*&king Lime!” … I think he just wanted an excuse to swear in public.)

(Also, a side note: drink responsibly! I always, always drink a glass of water between each beverage like this since they’re sweeter and smaller than a beer. Again – no need to get wasted, this is the new mature me.)

Cranberry Vodka Spritzer

For the Cranberry Simple Syrup
  • 1½ cups fresh cranberries
  • 1½ cup water
  • 1 cup plus 2 TBS sugar
  • 1 TBS fresh lime juice

*Note: You can also just buy Simple Syrup pre-made. Or, be like me and skip it all together and make your drink with Sprite (or have it a bit bland with just club soda and no sugar at all!).

For the Cocktail
  • Ice
  • ½ cup of the cranberry Vodka Simple Syrup
  • 2 oz vodka (or more)
  • Squeeze of fresh lime juice
  • Diet Sprite or club soda
  • Garnish: A few cranberries and a lime wedge
For Cranberry Simple Syrup
  1. In a small pot, combine cranberries, water and sugar. Heat until the mixture begins to boil then reduce to a simmer.
  2. Continue simmering until cranberries have burst (about 3-4 minutes more).
  3. Remove from heat and carefully use a potato masher or a muddler to mash the cranberries, which will maximize the infusion. Allow this mixture to cool.
  4. Strain the syrup (using a mesh strainer) into a bowl. Be sure to press firmly down on the cranberries to get every bit of syrup. You will need to scrape the cranberry pulp off of the strainer and discard to continue, or the strainer will become clogged.
  5. Once the syrup is completely cool, transfer it into a large mason jar or glass container and store in your fridge until ready to use.
For Cocktail
  1. For a tall glass serving, fill glass with ice and add in your syrup, vodka and lime. Top off with Sprite or club soda. Stir, taste & adjust to your liking. Garnish and serve.
  2. For a tumbler serving, reduce syrup by ½ and vodka to your preference. Stir, taste & adjust to your liking. Garnish and serve.

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Cranberry Vodka Spritzer

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